Ad Majorem Gloria: ImpressionsFandom:
50.Writer's ChoiceWord Count:
Part of a short, introspective series that has no real basis in plot. Kind of like a character study. This one is the Sandford cops, with future studies on the NWA and minor characters.
Nicholas Angel passes through the shadow of the Hog’s Head. There’s little on his mind, but there are eyes crawling all over him, head to toe, ideas he can’t control. He likes to think he’s the only one in this whole village with anything of a future, because he can’t stand to think he’s finished. His radio is dead, and it hasn’t needed to work in days.
Danny Butterman rests against the fountain, pondering a possibility he doesn’t think could ever become a reality. He buries his head in the idolatry of action heroes and thinks there’s nothing else for it, he’d better settle down and forget the adrenaline rush of a good explosion, the thrill of adventure and hope. He’s not watched television in a week and the DVDs are growing dust on their jackets in the lands and valleys of his fingerprints.
Andrew Wainwright is stalking down Lover’s Lane with nothing more pressing than finding funds for a new pack of fags. He doesn’t carry more than a few quid at any given time, and he’s gone and put on an old pair of pants again, one with the cash depleted from previous outings. He knows this shouldn’t matter so much, that he could pop home for a dive into his reserve, but he can’t help but wonder what little things he’ll miss if he does; the laughter of children engraved on the faces of old friends, memories resurrected in the light of fading summer. He wants to make something more of every moment, because he’s frightened of losing them all.
Andy Cartwright cracks his knuckles and shakes his hands loose, tensing and releasing, anxious and relaxed. He’s been wound up for weeks to the point of breaking, and now he’s just waiting for someone to pull the trigger and shatter him. Nobody knows this. Nobody knows that. He’s building castles out of clouds and sand in his mind, towers and shrines dedicated to empty hopes and made-up fears. Each of them has a name that he speaks daily, filled with private meanings, each utterance bringing him closer to the edge.
Doris Thatcher drinks slowly from a cold glass, feeling the jolt of ice against her lips as the cubes slide heavily with the pull of gravity. She pulls the knot from the nape of her neck and shakes out her hair, shakes off her worries, shakes until she’s shed everything and doesn’t give a damn who wants her to pick up the pieces. She sure as hell doesn’t want to. There are too many things to worry about to give time to any one of them, and even though she knows it’ll eventually catch up with her, all she cares about right now is the jolt of cold from an ice cube and crush of alcohol against her senses.
Bob Walker stirs a cup of tea as he thumbs through a new copy of the Sandford Journal. He doesn’t tell anyone how much he misses the Sandford Citizen, how much he misses Hatcher and Shooter and Butterman Sr., how much he misses the way things used to be. How much he misses his wife, and how none of his friends or children can fill the hole in his soul pulling his life away from him and into the void she left behind. Even if they would listen, he wouldn’t tell them. He knows they don’t want to hear it.
Tony Fisher is watching the tumble of sunshine through turning leaves, their flames of color adding to the backdrop of dancing light. There’s a cathedral of peace all around him, a deep calm that smooths his brow and soothes his fears, an inaudible lullaby. He can see the spectrum of his life in the shadows of the trees, mirages of himself, starting in youth and passing into a future senility, his even stride the only constant in the harsh waves of time. He breathes the fading life of the forest into himself and exhales the last of his youth. For once, he is not content, but resignation has finally come.
For once, everyone is resigned.